My initial response to Ed was this:
What is the problem with appealing to authority? Appealing to judicial precedent is an appeal to authority; appealing to research is an appeal to authority; appealing to the language of the Constitution is an appeal to authority.
What's your problem with authority?Ultimately, of course, everything is based on authority at some point, even if it's the authority of the senses (and even that Rene Descartes brings into question).
Liberals like to pretend to question authority. It's like wearing a Che T-shirt: It gives you all the appearance of being stylishly revolutionary, but it costs you absolutely nothing.